Over 30 Civil Society Organisations gathered in Lagos at the weekend to discuss measures to reduce disaster risks in Nigeria. The occasion was the maiden meeting of the National Coordination of Global Network of Civil Society Organisations for Disaster Reduction (GNDR) in Nigeria.
At the meeting, the groups agreed to work together and engage relevant stakeholders towards reducing risk and increasing the resilience of the most vulnerable in the country. The CSOs were drawn from across the six geo-political zones in the country.
Mr. Peter Akanimoh (Global Relief) who represents West Africa at the Global Board of GNDR in United Kingdom, in his welcome address, noted that GNDR is the largest international network of organisations committed to working together to improve the lives of people affected by disasters worldwide.
He emphasized the need for the members in Nigeria to work together to ensure that occurrence of disasters are reduced to the bearest minimum, noting that “the increase of disasters in Nigeria, Africa and around the World should be tackled. we do not monitor disasters we will lose a lot, we should be alert and prepared”.
Dr. Tola Winjobi (CSCSD) encouraged the network members in Nigeria to be more active and strive to make meaningful impact in efforts to reduce disaster risks in the country.
In his speech, Chairman of the National Steering Committee, Mr. Chibundu Ucheagbu (BECOLIN) in his speech appreciated the Global Secretariat in London and Regional Development Coordinator, Mr. Adessou Kossivi and affirmed that the meeting that brought members together under one roof was necessary in the light of increasing vulnerability of Nigerians in various communities to disasters.
According to him, GNDR has close to 200 member organisations in Nigeria but only 60 have been categorized successfully by the global hub. He encouraged members yet to be categorized to ensure they do the needful to satisfy the recategoisation process of the London secretariat.
The facilitator of the meeting, Mr. Kolawole Amusat (CDRCR) implored all members of GNDR in the country to connect and collaborate building dissaster resilience for vulnerable communities while having that positive engagements with other stakeholders especially the National Wmergency Management Agency and their state-based agencies, SEMAs.
Amusat harped on the implementation of Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) where the roles of the CSOs have been specified, adding that “we need to monitor and track progress to enable us to know if we are on the right path”.
Capacity of network members was strengthened on Post-2015 Development Agenda, Advocacy using GNDR National Advocacy Toolkit, Fundraising opportunities and Progress Report on Views From the Frontline(VFL) in Nigeria which has been on since 2009. The meeting also agreed to do the following to strengthen members’ coordination in Nigeria:
- Set up zonal structures in all geo-political zones to complement the efforts of the National Steering Committee.
- Adopt communication strategies that will ensure effective dissemination of information among members.
- Organise regular capacity building for members to bridge the existing capacity gap.
- Engage other stakeholders at all levels for joint DRR and Resilience projects implementation.
- Device means of sourcing resources (locally and from donors) to implement resilience activities in vulnerable communities.